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First Phase Elections in Odisha: EVMs Safely Stored Amid Tight Security

Bhubaneswar: The first phase of twin elections in Odisha concluded peacefully on May 13, with electronic voting machines (EVMs) securely stored in strong rooms under robust security measures. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal assured the public of stringent safeguards in place to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

Speaking at a press conference, CEO Dhal outlined the comprehensive security arrangements implemented to safeguard the EVMs. “A three-layer security system has been established to ensure the safety of the electronic voting machines,” he stated. Central armed forces have been deployed to guard the strong rooms in the first layer, while state forces and district police forces constitute subsequent layers of security.

Dhal emphasized that the strong rooms housing the EVMs are under constant surveillance through CCTV cameras, with dedicated control rooms monitoring the feeds. Additionally, provisions have been made to accommodate representatives of candidates outside the strong rooms until the counting of votes. These representatives will be permitted to inspect the security arrangements within the strong rooms upon obtaining authorization from the relevant authorities.

Reiterating the commitment to maintaining the integrity of the electoral process, Dhal affirmed that the EVMs would remain securely stored in the strong rooms until the conclusion of elections in the state.

The first phase of polling covered 28 Assembly segments across four Lok Sabha constituencies in Odisha, marking a significant step in the electoral process. With the smooth conclusion of the first phase, attention now shifts to the upcoming second phase of polling scheduled for May 20, signaling the continuation of the democratic exercise in the state.

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